Pepper Pike Executive Charged in Connection with Public Corruption Investigation
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 20, 2009|
William J. Edwards, First Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio, C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI, and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, today announced that a one-count Information was filed charging Mont Granite executive Dinesh Bafna, age 45, of Pepper Pike, Ohio, in connection with the Cuyahoga County public corruption investigation.
The Information charges Bafna with a bribery conspiracy that involved providing free or discounted home improvements and materials to Public Official 2 (“PO2”) and in return, PO2 assisted Bafna by reducing property valuations for tax purposes. According to the Information, in 2005 and 2006, Mont Granite provided free material to Salva Stone Design to install for PO2. Mont Granite did not bill or receive payment from Salva Stone Design for the material, and Stone Design did not bill or receive payment from PO2 for the material or installation. Thereafter, PO2 helped Bafna lower the property valuation for the commercial real estate from a high of $1,564,700 to $1,235,000. Bafna’s residential value decreased from a proposed increase to $1,112,600 to $865,000.
The following individuals were charged previously in connection with the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation:
|DEFENDANT||ROLE||DATE CHARGED||CASE STATUS|
|John Kevin Kelley||Former Geographic Information Systems project manager, Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office Former President, Parma City School District Board of Education, Principal, J. Kevin Kelley Consulting, LLC||6/12/2009||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/1/2009|
|Kevin F. Payne||Retired Chief of Staff, Engineer’s Office, Cuyahoga County||6/12/2009||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/1/2009|
|Daniel P. Gallagher||Retired Chief of Staff, Engineer’s Office, Cuyahoga County Principal, The Eagle Group||6/12/2009||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/2/2009|
|Brian Schuman||Former co-executive director, Alternatives Agency||6/12/2009||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/2/2009|
|Steven Wayne Pumper||Chief Executive Officer, DAS Construction||7/8/2009||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/17/2009 $3,644.00 payment toward restitution 11/9/2009|
|Dennis Dooley||Principal Office Assistant, Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office||7/22/2009||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009|
|John J. Carroll||Former Vice President of Facilities and Construction Services||8/6/09||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009|
|Nilesh R. Patel||Former Vice President of East West Construction Company||8/6/09||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009|
|Anthony C. Sinagra||Former Mayor of Lakewood, Former Member of the Ohio State Senate, Principal of AC Sinagra & Associates||8/13/09||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 8/31/09|
|Santina Klimkowski||Former elected member of the Maple Heights School Board of Education from 1981 to 2005 Former Department of Appraisal Specialist, Auditor’s Office||9/18/09||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea|
|Timothy Armstrong||Attorney, Sole Practitioner||9/18/09||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea|
|Bruce Zaccagnini||Partner, Belcuy Partners||9/18/09||Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea $500,000 payment toward restitution 11/2/09|
|John Valentin||Owner, Salva Stone Design||11/20/09||Awaiting Arraignment|
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann C. Rowland and Antoinette T. Bacon, following investigation by the Cleveland office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. The investigation is ongoing.
An Information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.